Honolulu, Hawaii will be the host of the 5th Annual Western Regional No-Dig Conference & Exhibition to be held Sept. 10-11, at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort located on Waikiki Beach in Oahu.
The Western Society for Trenchless Technology (WESTT) and co-host Underground Construction magazine, are sponsoring the conference, which provides the latest information in trenchless technology from experts in the field through an informative technical program and product exhibit area.
Established in 2004 as a non-profit organization, WESTT includes the following states: Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. WESTT is a regional chapter of the North American Society for Trenchless Technology (NASTT) which is affiliated with the International Society for Trenchless Technology. The mission of WESTT and NASTT is to promote education and development of trenchless technology for public benefit.
Oahu certainly lives up to its nickname, “The Gathering Place.” The third largest island is home to the majority of Hawaii’s diverse population, a fusion of East and West cultures rooted in the values and traditions of the native Hawaiian people. In addition, Oahu is home to numerous historic landmarks and significant points of interest that shed light on these fascinating facets of Hawaii’s recent past. What better place to gather together to learn about the expanding technologies, methods and education involved in the trenchless industry?
“Hawaii has quite a lot of trenchless work going on,” says Jennifer Glynn, chairman, WESTT Board of Directors, RMC Water and Environment. “Choosing to have our conference in this location is in response to the difficult economy. Municipalities in Hawaii have a difficult time justifying sending their employees to the mainland to attend the NASTT National No-Dig Conference. This is especially true in the current economy. So, we are bringing the benefits of that conference to them at a very reasonable price. WESTT’s mission is educating others on the benefits of trenchless technology. We believe that our choice to have the conference in Hawaii this year will benefit local Hawaiian municipalities by providing them with valuable information at a reasonable price in their own backyard. We expect most of our attendees to come from Hawaii. However, we have had positive responses from others within the mainland’s Western region.”
Samuel Ariaratnam, advisor, WESTT board of directors, Arizona State University, comments: “Hawaii is a state that has undertaken some of the most challenging new trenchless installation projects over the past 10 plus years. Monumental horizontal directional drilling and microtunneling projects have been showcased largely in part because of the difficult geological terrain. WESTT is excited about reaching out to the underground infrastructure community in Hawaii and educating them on some of the case histories that have been completed on the mainland.”
“Despite the difficult economy, market conditions for trenchless technology are holding steady,” adds Glynn. “There is continued R&D on new and more improved trenchless products for both the water and wastewater industry. This year, there was record attendance at the NASTT No-Dig National Conference and we are anticipating another successful conference in 2010.”
A busy schedule of presentations and training sessions delivered by industry experts and exhibits will highlight the convention.
“Attendees will benefit by learning about trenchless technology from industry leaders who will be presenting peer reviewed and nationally tested technical papers,” says Glynn. “Topics will cover the planning and design of both microtunneling and conventional tunneling projects, HDD design, small diameter boring, pipe bursting, manhole rehabilitation and carbon footprints of underground utility projects. In addition, attendees will receive eight hours of course instruction on the design and construction of either pipe bursting or horizontal directional drilling from experts in their fields. All of this will be provided at a very reasonable price, in a very beautiful setting.”
On the first day, conference goers can learn from and participate in paper presentations designed especially for public officials, engineers, utility company personnel, designers and contractors. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available and will be provided by Arizona State University. Attendees can earn 1.6 credit hours upon completion of the two-day event.
The second day will feature two of NASTT’s good practices courses – the HDD Good Practices Guidelines and the NASTT Pipe Bursting Good Practices. Full conference attendees may choose to participate in either course.
The technical sessions and training courses are unique in that sales pitches are not allowed in any of the presentations. Speakers will present case histories and projects that are beneficial to the industry as a whole.
NASTT training courses
One of the most anticipated events for this year’s convention is the NASTT training courses being offered.
Glynn says, “We are doing something a little different this year. With past regional conferences, we scheduled two days for presentations. However this year, presentations will be held on Thursday and Friday will be devoted to training courses. WESTT is offering two different training courses to choose from, which is included in the conference fee – NASTT Pipe Bursting Good Practices and NASTT Horizontal Directional Drilling Good Practices.”
The HDD Good Practices course will cover the horizontal directional drilling pipeline installation process including applications, equipment selection, design, construction, safety and troubleshooting.
The pipe bursting rehabilitation process will be covered in the Pipe Bursting Good Practices course. The training program will include pipe bursting applications, planning, preliminary design, construction and troubleshooting.
In addition to the presentations, training courses and exhibits, attendees will meet face-to-face with industry leaders in a fun and relaxed atmosphere at several networking opportunities.
“WESTT will offer two, one-hour sponsored luncheons as well as 3 ½ hours of sponsored conference breaks held within the venue that will span the two-day event,” Glynn explains. “In addition, there will be ample time for networking on Thursday evening since the host hotel is situated on Waikiki Beach where the opportunities for dinner and other entertainments abound.”
The Sheraton Waikiki is within walking distance of virtually anything and everything you could possibly want to do in Waikiki. The resort promises no end to entertainment and activity opportunities, including a wide variety of water sports, cultural events, renowned attractions and world-class shopping.
Leading manufacturers and suppliers are slated to fill the exhibit area with the latest technologies, products and services. The conference program is arranged so that exhibit hall hours do not conflict with the presentations. Attendees will have ample opportunity to visit with the 20 sponsoring companies that will be exhibiting to discuss in greater detail the current technology and products they have to offer.
According to Glynn, the number of exhibitors is limited so attendees can experience the benefit of a national conference program in a smaller forum.
“We prefer to limit the number of sponsoring exhibitors in order to maintain an intimate feel to the conference,” says Glynn. “The exhibits will all be table top. Attendees will have a total of 5 ½ hours to view the exhibits over the two day conference.”
The conference, including a full day of expert presentations, the choice of a NASTT training course, CEU credits, CD Proceedings, and sponsored breakfasts, luncheons and refreshments are priced at just $350. Additional registrants from the same company or organization cost only $325.
For hotel reservations at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort – Honolulu, call (808) 921-4611 or book online at www.starwoodmeeting.com/book/smwstt.
Mention the “WESTT Conference” to receive the special room rate of $150 for a city view room or $170 for an ocean view room.
For program questions, contact Sam Ariaratnam (480) 965-7399 or Jennifer Glynn (925) 627-4151. For general conference registration questions, contact Jennifer Glynn or Kate Wallin (916) 294-0095.